Fourth of July 2010. We are set up in the parking lot, grilling hot dogs, eating potato salad, sipping watermelon margaritas. It is approximately 8,000 degrees out.
After we watch the fireworks from an undisclosed location in downtown Bangor, it is decided that dessert must happen. We walk to the convenience store and procure marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate bars for s’mores on the grill. Not the ideal venue for toasting marshmallows — but then again, we are in a parking lot. A campfire isn’t exactly advisable.
Upon our return, my friends Allison and Summer, our hostesses with the mostesses, have taken the dessert game to the next level. Not only have they fired up the grill again, they also have taken the bananas languishing in their kitchen and done something amazing to them.
Summer mixed up dark rum and maple syrup in a pan — roughly half a cup of each — and soaked the bananas in them. Allison then put them gently on the grill, for a kind of grilled, impromptu Bananas Foster. They were gooey, sweet and delicious. Being enterprising, we got to work with the s’mores.
The little light bulb went on over our heads, and Allison grabbed a graham cracker, snapped it in two halves and dunked one side of both halves in the rum and maple syrup mixture. She put it on the grill for about 30 seconds, enough for the wet side to caramelize. We oohed and aahed.
Chocolate was put on the cracker, followed by a toasted marshmallow and, finally, a slice of grilled rum-soaked banana. You haven’t had s’mores until you’ve had Bananas Foster s’mores. God bless America.
Bananas Foster S’Mores
Makes up to 18
Several sleeves of graham crackers
2 or 3 bananas
1 bag marshmallows
3 or 4 chocolate bars, doesn’t matter which brand
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup dark rum
It is ideal to have two people to make this, as banana grilling and marshmallow and cracker toasting should happen at the same time. If you have only one person, grill the bananas first.
Mix maple syrup and dark rum in a shallow pan until well combined. Slice bananas into thirds, then slice each third lengthwise. Soak in rum mixture. Set aside.
Heat grill to medium heat. Carefully set bananas on grill. Baste top with rum mixture while the bottom is grilling, then flip with a spatula after 1-2 minutes. Grill flip side for a few minutes more.
Meanwhile, snap a graham cracker in half and dunk one side of each half in the rum mixture. Place on the grill for no more than 30 seconds, so the mixture caramelizes.
Finally, toast marshmallows to desired level of gooeyness. Put a square of chocolate on top of grilled graham cracker and top with toasted marshmallow and grilled banana. Enjoy.